Omnichannel commerce is important in today’s eCommerce environment but there are different approaches. According to DigiCommerce partner, Elastic Path omnichannel, provides a customer with a seamless consistent journey on any device with which they wish to connect with a brand. In this post we highlight four key pillars of a successful omnichannel strategy. They include sales channels, marketing and advertising, operations, and fulfillment. Importantly, these functions must work together seamlessly for the best possible omnichannel user experience.
However, with more sales channels to choose from than ever before, the audience can be more easily distracted. It is important brands carefully evaluate audiences. Evaluating where customers spend time, and where competing products are being sold. Sales channels may include online storefronts, social media platforms, mobile channels and physical stores where POS is used. It is important for brands to invest in various sales channels as opposed to just one. Companies invested in just one sales channel ended up in a tough situation when the pandemic hit. An omnichannel sales approach is basically about mitigating risk. Businesses can better assess where their potential customers are and how they can be close to them.
Marketing and advertising
Brands must remember customers are not going to locate their product naturally. No matter the product or the quality of the eCommerce site. To do that brands need an omnichannel marketing strategy to drive online traffic and sales. To be effective, brands need the right message at the right time and in the right place. This synergy is brought together with a consistent online brand experience for customers. Moreover, brands can make use of digital marketing and advertising channels for retailers. These include Google Shopping adverts, marketplace advertising, social media, email and SMS
The operations aspects include the back-office, products, orders, inventory management, logistics and order fulfillment. Operationally, connectivity is vital to an omnichannel strategy. The eCommerce technology that underpins this back office operations depends on the size and complexity of a business. However, many in the industry believe inventory visibility is the most significant roadblock to omnichannel inventory management. As a result, managers find it harder to access data for reporting. It is even harder to give customers a guarantee that products will be back in stock on all platforms. Furthermore, when businesses expand to new channels, they need to have centralized inventory visibility. This allows them to optimize supply chain and have a better control of all sales platforms.
Shipping and fulfillment
In conclusion, the omnichannel approach must consider the whole buying process from online search to customer fulfillment. To improve shipping and fulfillment, retailers can use shipping software or more commonly third-party logistics providers. On one hand, shipping software gives rates with numerous carriers tracking information visible into shipping status. It gives retailers the ability to report and send orders to fulfillment providers. On the other hand, third party logistic providers include other features such as inventory management, warehousing and fulfillment. Essentially, logistics and fulfillment is just another extension of the customer experience.